Outcomes from homeopathic prescribing in dental practice: a prospective, research-targeted, pilot study.
Homeopathy. 2007 Apr ;96(2):74-81. PMID: 17437932
R T Mathie
BACKGROUND AND AIMS: A base for targeted research development in dental homeopathy can be founded on systematic collection and analysis of relevant data obtained by dentists in clinical practice. With these longer-term aims in mind, we conducted a pilot data collection study, in which 14 homeopathic dentists collected clinical and outcome data over a 6-month period in their practice setting.
METHODS: A specifically designed Excel spreadsheet enabled recording of consecutive dental appointments under the following main headings: date; patient identity (anonymised), age and gender; dental condition/complaint treated; whether chronic or acute, new or follow-up case; patient-assessed outcome (7-point Likert scale: -3 to +3) compared with first appointment; homeopathic medicine/s prescribed; whether any other medication/s being taken for the condition. Spreadsheets were submitted monthly via e-mail to the project co-ordinator for data synthesis and analysis.
RESULTS: Practitioners typically submitted data regularly and punctually, and most data cells were completed as required, enabling substantial data analysis. The mean age of patients was 46.2 years. A total of 726 individual patient conditions were treated overall. There was opportunity to follow-up 496 individual cases (positive outcome in 90.1%; negative in 1.8%; no change in 7.9%; outcome not recorded in 0.2%). Sixty-four of these 496 patients reported their outcome assessment before the end of the homeopathic appointment. Strongly positive outcomes (scores of +2 or +3) were achieved most notably in the frequently treated conditions of pericoronitis, periodontal abscess, periodontal infection, reversible pulpitis, sensitive cementum, and toothache with decay.
CONCLUSIONS: This multi-practitioner pilot study has indicated that systematic recording of practice data in dental homeopathy is both feasible and capable of informing future research. A refined version of the spreadsheet can be employed in larger-scale research-targeted data collection in the dental practice setting.